Why swans can overcome the pain of a great final defeat

“There’s going to be different players that we’re adding over the years and hopefully more this year, and developing a really good core so the dependency on the older guys isn’t there.

“The reality is that the heavy lifting is being done by the 25 year olds and under [players]. We still have some really good players in the older age group who contribute and lead really well. There’s a lot of our team in that group of 24-year-olds and under that take on a lot of responsibility.”

Longmire, a no-nonsense, fact-based operator, scoffs at the hoodoo gossip, but he acted quickly to discuss the pain of the heavy loss with Geelong, and in the days that followed called his players to a meeting to check on their well-being. before they disbanded Holidays.

John Longmire says the next generation of Swans has taken responsibility for the club's future.

John Longmire says the next generation of Swans has taken responsibility for the club’s future.Credit:Getty

Of the eight teams to have lost a grand final by 48 points or more since the turn of the millennium, none have won a final the following year.

Adelaide has not made the eighth since being beaten by Richmond in 2017, while Greater Western Sydney fell to 10th after also being knocked out by the Tigers.

Given the age demographics of the Crows and Giants, their slides may have happened regardless of margins, but the psychological toll of Grand Finals losses is real. Geelong champion Patrick Dangerfield likened the aftermath of the Cats’ 2020 defeat to a “dark cave”.

While history is a guide to form for some, Longmire gives no weight to the theory that the losers of the tough Grand Finals are doomed the following season.

“I’m not sure I agree with a lot of these theories that you have absolutely no control over it,” Longmire said. “The word [hoodoo] by itself describes that you have no control over anything, it just doesn’t make sense.”

Of greater significance to Longmire was the Cats’ ability to climb the mountain a year after being humiliated by Melbourne by 83 points in an interim final.


“This is one of the most experienced teams that has ever played,” said Longmire. “It happens, nobody wants it to happen, we have to learn from it, but it’s happened before and teams are learning and getting moving again.”

The Swans’ big final debriefing didn’t address the mechanics of their loss – which was saved for the preseason – but was held to allow them to wrap up the offseason.

“The week after that was a meeting, it wasn’t a technical review, it was more of a check-in with players and staff, how everyone is doing before you lose contact with them for 10 weeks,” Longmire said.

“We just talked to see how everyone was doing. Then we let everyone go. When we came back we got a little bit more into that, not the technical part because not much was going right.”

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/afl/why-swans-can-overcome-pain-of-grand-final-defeat-20230203-p5chso.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_sport Why swans can overcome the pain of a great final defeat

Ryan Sederquist

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